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The Year of Unafraid

“Focusing on intentional thanks — forces those fears to shrink in the face of His Grace. -Ann Voskamp

I chose a word last year for intentionality. You know, something to focus on through the year that I knew would help me grow and become more of who God made me to be. The word was “grateful.” I wanted to start seeing everything — every.thing. — as a gift from God. To see each circumstance, each moment as something God allowed even in all of His sovereignty and grace and goodness and kindness and love. Even the difficult and the bad and the confused.

So I started thanking God for what He had given me in the right now. Instead of begging him during the bedtime prayers for no barf through the night or the next day, I started thanking Him for the health we had right then, while we prayed, even if someone had barfed that day. (Clearly, I have issues with barf, no?) Not so coincidentally, I had received the promise for Ann Voskamp’s book 1,000 Gifts for Christmas that year, and as soon as it hit the shelves, it was in my hands. I’m pretty sure God gave me that word to focus on last year. I’m so glad He did. (Yes, grateful, even.)

So I’ve been thinking about a word for this new year. Another year, another word to sum it up with. And here it is — unafraid. Because I don’t know all that the the year will hold (I mean, really, does anyone?), but I know there will be some major changes and unknowns to face. Because I’ve struggled with fear for much of my life and I’m done doing that. Because God, in His Almighty, promise-keeping faithfulness, has freed me up from so much of my anxiety issues and yet I still find “afraid” to be a part of my vocabulary somehow.

And here’s the really amazingly God-is-sovereign kind part of this whole thing … The unafraid follows the grateful. It’s a natural outcome of joy-finding, this unafraid, done-with-the-fear living.

So I say bring it! I’m ready for the year of unafraid.

Do you have a word you’d like to sum up the year 2012? I got the idea from Ann Voskamp at www.holyexperience.com. (I like her, can you tell?)

16 Thoughts on “The Year of Unafraid

  1. Love this, Bria! I was JUST thinking about this very thing as I finished my shower and I thought that a good word for me this year is deliberate. I have learned a great deal through difficulty and one of the things that I am learning is that I don’t want to simply let life happen to me. I want to be deliberate about seeking friendship, pursuing Christ, training my children, glorifying God! So, if I had one word to choose, that would be it!!!!
    Love you, friend! Excited to see how God blesses you in being UNAFRAID! I know that he will continue to use you in mighty ways.

  2. Heather on January 9, 2012 at 12:59 pm said:

    Bria,

    Debbie MacComber just released a new book called “One Perfect Word.” It is her first non-fiction book and it is exactly on the idea of choosing a word to focus on for the year. I just started reading it but thought you might enjoy it after reading your blog. Praying for you often, my friend.

    Heather

  3. What about the “rolly polly” bugs? You’ve come a long way my dearest daughter.

  4. Laurie on January 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm said:

    Needed this. Thanks for your gift of words through Jesus.

  5. Seriously Bria, in a year of uncertainty, to be unafraid is a bold statement of faith. I’m proud of you and the way you love the Lord.

    Dad

  6. Thanks for the good words! Thinking about it my word would be ” intentional”. I really need to be more intentional in all I do, whether it is for the Lord or for my family or for a friend or ministry. I often say or think I will do something and then I often fail to get up and DO IT!! Whether it is more time in the Word, or to be more faithful in prayer time. or even just sending off a birthday card..on time! (you know about that one!)..I always seem to have “good intentions” and don’t seem to follow through.

    So, please pray for me that I will do this, I feel like I fail at it so often and God has laid that word on my heart for a long time, so thanks for the words today to encourage me to pick my word for 2012!

    Love you!

    Mom

  7. Angie P. on January 10, 2012 at 7:27 am said:

    You are so dear Bria.Thanks for this post. God again is using you to do things in my life. I was having trouble with this one. I reluctantly went on a run this morning after not being able to sleep, and while I’m running I am asking God for this one word that He wants for me. As I am running, I feel like God is telling me to listen. So I am thinking that is the word for me. I am repeating listen to myself. Soon after saying hello to a woman walking to work, I feel like He is telling me to stop. I’m thinking what? I don’t want to stop, I need to finish this. Then I think listen. So I stop. Then it’s “Turn around.” Ok then…. So I turn around and decide to go around a different route closer to town. I’m thinking is he testing me? What is going on? As I round the corner and head towards the square, I see the woman again. She is crossing the street ahead of me. I get it God. It’s because of her. Then I start to panic, what does He want me to say? Do I just say something generic, do I tell her God sent me after her? Finally approaching her, I tell her to have a great day. As I pass, I feel a big wave of dissapointment in myself. That was all I had for her, I wimped out. It could have been so much more. Then God gave me the word: COURAGE!!! To have courage to speak for and about Him. Isn’t He so amazing? Failure is the best way to learn, isn’t it? Love you!!

  8. Becky Lee on January 10, 2012 at 7:20 pm said:

    Enough. I’ve been going around and around with ‘enough’ on my mind for months. Enough clothes, enough gadgets, enough of the same fruitless thought patterns, enough of the same sin cropping up in my life, enough ungratefulness… And at the end of all of that enough is that He’s given all I should need, want and desire in this life.

  9. Becky, you rock! I could use some of that ENOUGH thinking in my life for sure. Very good word, friend.

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